Race for the Place and March for Meals Wild 5k Double Dip – Columbia, SC – 2/21/2015

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I looked at this week a couple months ago and I was really bummed that two races I like were opting for the same date. Race for the Place (RFTP) is a super competitive, flat and fast rectangle in Shandon. Its always a challenge to even place in my age group there, but I love the ceramic tile awards. I”ve run it every year since it began in 2011.  The March for Meals (MFM) used to be run at Riverbanks Zoo, and was the site of my very first age group trophy in 2009 – a gateway drug into a full blown racing addiction.

I had been slack in signing up, but I went ahead and registered for RFTP on Thursday afternoon. I figured this would be my best opportunity for a sub 19 – the course was super flat and I’d have some competition to help me pace. Once committed to RFTP, I was curious about the course at MFM since they were scrapping the old venue for a new course on the Timmerman trail in Cayce. Just as I was about to log off I noticed the 9 am start. Wait a second…

Sure enough, RFTP started at 8 am. Some quick google mapping and mental arithmetic yielded this – I needed 19 minutes for RFTP and 15 minutes for travel. If everything went right, this would be a very doable double dip. I was in.

Of course, the one hour double dip is not for the newbie nor the faint of heart. First, you better hope the second race has early packet pick up. If it’s going to be tight you don’t want to be standing in line sweating it out to get your bib. Luckily, MFM had this at Strictly Running on Friday.  Second – car parking is key. You need to make sure you have an easy getaway. Nothing’s worse than mistakenly parking on the race course and being unable to move your car. Third – mental preparation. The whole point is gunning for as many Tour de Columbia points as possible, so taking it easy in one or both races isn’t going to work. You have to be willing to jump in the pain cave, come out, and get pushed right back in…probably further the next time.

But, having learned under the tutelage of legendary double dippers William Schmitz, John Gasque and Pete Poore, I had my strategy down pat. I was going to have to do this more often this year anyway, since Brandenburg has been scared to death of a Sasquatchian attack on his TDC Masters championship. I turn 40 on March 3. He has to train for the Kona Ironman later this year. One problem – he double dipped last week and had 6 races under his belt already. He had 50 something points to my zero heading into this weekend.

Race #1 Race for the Place

I got there an hour early, and had a perfect spot on Devine St, even pointing towards the next race. I laid out my second shirt and bib in the car while I went to get the RFTP bib. Awesome shirt this year, by the way – one I’ll actually wear instead of contributing to the ginormous pile in the corner of my bedroom. One mile to warm up in the brutal cold, then I run into Joyce and Code. Joyce is racing but the Code is still on injured reserve. We end up basically running the whole course before I realize a 4 mile warm up is probably not the brightest idea before a sub 19 attempt or a double dip. Also not a good idea – indulging in my mom’s chili and multiple beers at a family get together the night before. Yeah, don’t do that.

As expected, this place is crawling with racing studs. Bishop, OJ, Shawanna, MC, Luke Godwin, Justin Jones, Kenneth “Son of Beast” Vowles,  Sarah and Eric Allers, – this was going to be brutal.  Familiar faces and names included: Pete O’Boyle, Coke Mann, Arnold Floyd, Rafael Marquez, Angel, David Russell, Norm Ferris, Kris Litman-Koon, Brittany Robbins, Renee McCormick, Lois Leaburn, Teresa Harrington, Mickie Ishizue, Alsena Edwards, Tom Beattie, Gasque, Alex Ponamarev, Kate Ferlauto, Ron Hagell, Shirley Smith, Ken and Patti Lowden, Kat Hudgins, Sharon Sherbourne, Samuel Striggles,  and Susannah Cole.

Oh, and lest I forget, Jeff Brandenburg. Like Fight Club, I guess the first rule about double dipping is “don’t talk about double dipping”. Not only was he here, but doing MFM as well. We are not helping the whole “psycho psychiatrist” stereotype.

The start is insane. So many beasts in this thing, its hard not to get caught in the stampede, especially with a downhill stretch to start. I’m hoping for a sub 6 first mile so I try to keep up. I’m used to the crowd thinning out pretty quick at this pace but a half mile in I’ve still got lots of company. Brandenburg, Shawanna and MC are just ahead of me and Luke Godwin is attached at my hip. Kris Litman Koon is also up in the mix, so I assume he’s been hitting the training pretty hard.  A few soft rolling inclines and I am just not feeling it. Lots of wind suckage and fatigue, and I start cursing myself thinking how bad MFM is going to suck after this. But hey, maybe I’m rocking like a 5:50 or something. Uh, nope. 6:08 at Mile 1. This would be fine – a 6:07 will get you a 18:59. What’s not fine is me wanting to quit right there. Sure enough, I mentally and physically fade out for a bit and then realize Luke is dropping me and MC/Jeff/Shawanna are starting to gap me a bit too. Must. Keep. Up. It feels like forever but we finally hit the other side of the rectangle on Queen Street, and I’m hurting pretty bad. Angel has just been out for a training run and tells me to catch Brandenburg. I’m going to try my best. Mile 2 in 6:15. Not too bad, given my general feeling of death. I try to ramp it up, knowing I’ll need a sub 6 effort to get me in the 18’s. Lungs are definitely protesting the brain’s decision, unfortunately. Just cant get enough wind in me. What’s worse is that they are letting cars go behind me, so I feel like I’m dead last. We do a little squiggle from Wheat to Blossom, and I know its just a flat half mile to go. Adrenaline takes over and I start drawing nearer to the pack. I see Luke break from the front but JB, Shawanna and MC in are in a tight pack. For a moment I think I’m going to blast through the three of them in a headless chicken kick, but it was not to be. They all kicked in too, and they remained just out of reach. The last couple of blocks or so I see the clock and its already in the 18:50’s. Damn. No chance.  I flop across the line in 19:17. I feel like remaining on the ground in the fetal position but then I realize I have to get the hell out of here. I take a few pics and try to tell Colleen to pick up my AG award, though I’m still panting like a banshee and my heart is beating like an Avett Brothers kick drum.  Plus, I’ve gotten beat by so many people I dont even know if I placed.

Luckily OJ won the race, taking him out of the AG and giving me the consolation 3rd place. Man this AG sucks. 15th overall. Behind OJ was Justin Bishop, finishing 2nd in 16:20. Justin Jones finished 3rd, just a step ahead of Kenneth Vowles. In the women’s race, Caroline Peyton crushed the field in 18:09 followed by Shawanna and MC a few seconds over 19. Team Allers cleaned up the masters division with wins by Eric (17:58) and Sarah (20:33). Age group honor roll: Samuel Striggles placed 2nd in the 2-14. Kenneth crushed a 17:26 but just had to show up to claim his 15-19 age group of one. Brittany Robbins eked out a 20 minute win in the girls 15-19.  Team Utopia’s David Russell ran 6 flat pace and claimed first in the 25-29. Kris Litman-Koon hung on for a strong 20:06 and 2nd in the 30-34, with Rafael Marquez 3rd in 21:39. Luke Godwin got his sub 19 with an 18:58 and 2nd in the 35-39 AG, Kate Ferlauto placed 3rd on the women’s side. Coke Mann rocked his 621 ninja custom shoes and claimed first in the 40-44. Some psycho psychiatrist took 1st in the 45-49, we wont mention his name. In the 45-49 women, Joyce rocked a new PR 22:12, followed by Sandra Ricciuto and race director Missy Caughman (great job Missy!). Tom Beattie placed 3rd in the 50-54 in a definitely-faster-than-Wes-Spratt time of 24:01. Renee McCormick took first in the women’s 50-54, ahead of Melanie Davega and tri addict Marlena Crovatt-Bagwell. Alsena Edwards, Lois Leaburn and Shirley Smith swept the 55-59, with Pete O’Boyle and John Gasque claiming 1st and 3rd on the men’s side. Sharon Sherbourne was the champion of the 60-64. Norm Ferris, Alex Ponamarev and Ron Hagell swept a brutal 65-69 category, with Patti Lowden and Brigitte Smith going 1-2 among the women. Arnold Floyd crushed the 70+ division as always.

http://www.strictlyrunning.com/RESULTS/15RACE4PLACE.TXT

https://connect.garmin.com/activity/703907867

Race #2 March for Meals “Wild” Run 5k

OK, so Google Maps had a 14 minute drive from St Joseph’s church (site of RFTP) and the Timmerman Trail. I must have thought I was still racing because I made it there in ten. In keeping with the theme of the day, I arrived just seconds after Brandenburg. We did a half mile or so of warmup, but when you’ve just finished a hard 5k fifteen minutes ago, it didnt take long.

March for Meals was decidedly less competitive, as expected, though they had a good crowd. Heavy on the race shirt wearing variety. Plexico seems to win this race every year, and sure enough he came out to defend his title. I swear he’s won it every time I’ve run. Will Brumbach and Micah Simonsen were there, proving I can’t catch a break in my age group. Other familiar faces were Brie McGrievy (with daughter Sabine), Jennifer Reeves, Dina Mauldin, Pam Inman, Lucia Velicu, Jeff Smith, Steve Rudnicki, Cheryl and Tommy Outlaw + Gizmo, Sue Porter, Barbara Brandenburg ,  Rocky Soderberg and Paul Bates. The Chick Fil A cow was there, so I made sure I got my mascot fetish pic in. It was cool to see Dawn Staley, USC women’s basketball coach (26-1, #2 in the country) there to start the race.

The start felt like crap, as my legs and lungs were wondering why the hell I was abusing them twice in one morning. First quarter mile is on a dirt road before entering the trail, which is a winding concrete route through the forest. Plex doesnt take long to leave us all in the dust, but JB and a handful of kids surge to the front of the non-Lightning pack. Brumbach jumps in front of me along with Micah, so here I am in the top 8 or so and already running 3rd in age group. We hit the concrete trail and I ride Micah like an overgrown gorilla before he eventually relents and lets me pass. My legs are trashed but one saving grace is that this race is flat as a pancake. Literally no hills. It’s still not a super fast route, because I’m having to engage some of my new found Make-My-Day trail agility to round all these twists and turns. JB and Brumbach have left me for dead but I make sure to keep at least a visual on them up ahead. I dont even worry about Garmin splits since I figure they’re probably useless out here in the forest with a million turns. I’d probably be too depressed to see my pace too, because its a hell of a lot slower.

About a mile and a half in, we jump out of the woods onto the dirt Old State Rd, which oddly enough I’ve run before on leg 2 of the Palmetto 200. This little part sucks because it’s a short out and back, with the turnaround as a cone in the middle of the narrow road. Bringing my tractor trailer -like physique into a hairpin turn around this cone brings me to a complete stop, and it about kills me to get back up to 5k pace. No more stealth with JB and Brumbach since they obviously see me on the turnaround. I see Micah right on my tail too.

We head back towards the finish road and I get all excited because I’m more than ready to get this thing over with. I’ve managed to pass a couple more people and its just me, a random kid, JB and Will. I finally break my Garmin blindness and see my watch not even on 2.5 miles, and sure enough they’re directing us away from the finish. Looks like I’ll be riding this out on fumes, because I’ve got about nothing left. One more loop through the forest and we come back out on the finish road. I figure this time its for real. I try to kick it in but JB and the kid are too far ahead. Brumbach has burned us all and takes second place. As we hit the final paved stretch, the kid pulls a page from the Blue Shoe book and blasts by JB on his right. JB notices at the last second and they both sprint to a photo finish. I see the clock around 19:30 and I about give up a lung to break 20, finishing in 19:49. 2nd in AG (behind Will) and 5th overall. Happy to get two sub 20’s in less than an hour, though since my goal for this year is a sub 40 10k, I better be able to do this. Between missing the sub 19 at RFTP, getting viciously double Brandenburged, and scoring all of 10 TDC points, its hard to call this morning a big success. Cool races though.

As predicted, Plex cruised to the easy win in 17:37. Will got second in 19:24 with the kid (Mike Schrum, actually age 25) edging JB out by a microsecond for third. Poor Jeff.  This race is perennially a women’s trophy hunt for some reason. Gina Campbell took the win in 23:02, followed by Barb Brandenburg and Mikayla Morales.

AG honors: Sabine McGrievy, age 6, rocked a 35:23 and third in the 2-10 age group. Ryan Sacko won the 30-34 men. Micah placed third in our brutal 35-39 and 7th overall. JB took the 45-49 with Steve Hunter 3rd. Barb won the 45-49 women followed by Palmetto Runners’ Pam Inman and Jennifer Reeves. Jeff Smith finished 2nd in the 50-54. Sue Porter and Cheryl Outlaw placed 1st and 3rd in the 55-59, while Steve Rudnicki and Tommy Outlaw topped the men’s division. Jan Hardwick claimed the 65-69 men, while Rocky Soderberg took 2nd in the 70+.

http://www.strictlyrunning.com/RESULTS/15MARCHFORMEALS.TXT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MGC Long Run 15k – Columbia,SC – 2/7/15

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15k’s , like their brethren the 10 miler and the 12k, are the red headed stepchildren of the distance racing world. They’re pretty tough to find, and no one knows how to pace them. I figure I’ve run a couple hundred road races by now, and exactly two of them are the oddball 9.3 mile distance.

My first attempt was in 2009 at the now defunct Labor Day Fitness Festival 15k. This is when I was just starting out and my main concern was my ability to actually run the whole distance. I set a distance PR at that race, managing to avoid the walksies and even push the pace in the last 2 miles to finish in 1:16. My only other attempt at the distance was in 2012 at the also now-defunct (do I sense a pattern?) Wildewood Fitness Festival 15k, which ranks as one of my most miserable performances of all time. I ran the race at an all out effort but managed to only pull marathon pace, slogging through in 1:10 and change (7:35 pace). https://tourdeblueshoes.com/2012/05/06/wildewood-fitness-festival-15k-and-4-miler-ne-columbia-sc-5512/ So, to say my 15k PR is a little soft would be a bit of an understatement.

I had planned to exact my revenge on the 15k last year at the debut of this race, but my wonky achilles at the time decided to make me a scratch just before the race day. I was bummed because reportedly there was some serious race swag in the packet. I ended up showing up and just taking pics at that race. Everyone seemed happy with the new event, save for a brutal course, so I definitely planned to make it back in 2015. This year there was also a course revision to take out a few hills – awesome.

Heading into this race I was feeling pretty good about the training. I’ve still struggled on some long runs since Kiawah but the 5k speed is coming back quickly. Pacing for the 15k would be a bit of a challenge. One good thing about being a total racing freak is there’s plenty of recent data to help. Half marathon in Savannah (totally flat and a huge PR) was like 6:44 pace, the Red Shoe 10k 2 weeks ago (also flat) was 6:34. Since the 15k falls almost right between the two distances, I decided to shoot for 6:40 – though I figured I’d probably skew more towards the half marathon pace with the hills.

I show up at the race, and the first thing I notice (other than freezing my nuts off in the 30 degrees +wind) is that this place is teeming with road racing studs. I think I’ve stumbled upon the absolute antithesis of the trophy hunt. The Strictly Red Storm front has apparently moved in, because all of them are out in force, even their ultimate ringer, Michael Banks from Charleston. Coach B has his elite ladies (except for injured Shannon) with Kenzie, MC,  Erin, Jen and Linn. Coach B is running the 5k, and Ryan Plexico, Jeff Brandenburg, Jeff Godby, Luke Godwin and Jonathan Kinsey are also in tow. Palmetto Runners fielded Meme Spurgeon, Lucia Velicu, and Angel Manuel. Eric Ashton was on board himself, with his ladies team ( Excellent Athletics) of Alyssa Bloomquist and Heather Costello. And lets not forget the Black and Gold. Coach Bishop, Colleen, Michael Nance, Mike Compton, Chris Fawver, Ashley Horton, Eliere and Ivanka Tolan, Lorikay Keinzle, Julia Early, Daniel Patrick , Brittany Robbins  and myself were representing from Team Utopia South.

Other Columbia Running Club peeps, in addition to many of the above, were Scott Flicker (also with Columbia Christian Runners), Larry Jourdain, Howie Phan, Winston Holliday, Geary McAlister, Jeff Burgess, Larry Bates, Trophy Mcgaha, Jamey Wilson, Joe Roff, Mary Howk, Rick Gibbons, Rafael Marquez, Coleen Strasburger, Mark Robertson, Kathryn Ryan, James Hicks, Jenn Covington, Mike Griffin, Michael Jensen, James Lichty, Lana Morrison, Lisa King, Harry Strick, Lynn Grimes, Wes and Rhea Spratt, Chris Vokaty, Teresa Harrington, Donna Freeman, Sandra Ricciuto, Renee McCormick, April Hutto, Tommy Outlaw, Paige Tyler, Ken Lowden,  Pam Griffin, Lisa Smarr, Jim Manning, Brandi Bradley, Sherry Robertson, Jennifer Reeves, Birgit Spann, Barbara Brandenburg, Tom Beattie, Arnold Floyd,  John Gasque, Pete Poore,  Derek and daughter Madelyn Gomez, Chip Lupo, Rocky Soderberg, Patti Lowden, Henry Holt, Melinda Petruzzi, Sharon Sherbourne, and Sandra Manning.

Other familiar faces Heather and Will Brumbach (621 ninjas),  Lee Moore and Robbie “O.G.”McClendon (Fitness World Running Club), Whitney Keen,  Kristin Cattieu, Paul Drohomirecky, Hou-Yin Chang, Dawn Woodrow, Dolly Rodgers, Gregory Jones, Albert Anderson, Jason Lockhart.

So, yeah, everyone and their mom turned up for this one. The Code , Joyce, Tracy and Stephanie were doing the Save the Light Half down in Folly though. They certainly got the flatter course, and got to meet blog celebrity Amy “The Tiny Terror” Scott-Lundy.

I did less than a mile warmup with Trophy and Jamey, and its just freaking freezing. 28 degrees according to my Garmin. Thankfully they have the First Citizens building open, where I weaseled my way into an executive level bathroom. Certainly beats the frozen portapotties.

After the national anthem and an all-important mascot photo with Cocky, we were off. I was told the first few miles are flat and downhill, and they are as advertised. It includes a good bit of the Bunny Hop course.  In the first half mile I’m running with  Geary and Robbie and Geary starts “shaming” me that I’m running too slow. Whatever dude – you’ve smoked me plenty of times before. The first mile feels pretty brisk, and sure enough comes back at 6:26.  I can see Flicker and Angel up ahead running beside an unknown girl in blue, and I try to focus on keeping them in range. I try to tell myself to slow down but someone is using me as a human windshield. I finally turn around and see that its Howie tucking behind my significant wake. Given my sasquatchity, I hardly blame him. Another flat mile for number 2 at almost the same pace. Mile 3 is deceptive because its actually a slow incline up to Gervais street, and I’m already feeling winded. This cant be good. It’s definitely a relief to finally hit Gervais, where it levels out again. Angel mysteriously drops out at this point, though says he’s ok. I hate to see people drop, but my evil maniacal trophy hunting dark side gives me the idea that maybe I can sneak in an age group placement now. Bwa ha ha ha. Mile 3 has a clock and I pass it right around 19:50. Just in front of the state house begins the very long, wonderful downhill into the vista. Man it was sweet. Its at a perfect decline to maintain your pace without feeling like you have to brake. Totally recovered from that first 5k. I know I would need it.

Up ahead, girl in blue is just killing it and has dropped Flicker like a bad habit. I finally catch up with Scott on the Gervais st bridge, having kicked it in a bit to lose my Howie shadow. Just after the bridge is the beginning of the pain. First a nasty little incline up to State Street which I hadnt even thought about. Bailing out to Cafe Strudel at this point sounds pretty good, especially seeing warm people sipping coffee and eating breakfast. But hey, wouldnt you rather be out in the 30 degree weather testing the limits of your pain tolerance? Yeah, I’m that sick bastard.

We do a weird turn on C avenue then right back on B avenue, infamous as the Ray Tanner 12k hill. Born from the diabolical dark side of Ken Lowden, B avenue is gradual and endless. Any good feelings from the flight down Gervais are way out the window by the time I’m halfway up. What’s worse, is the 15k course goes up a whole other block from the Ray Tanner turn off. I do manage to lose Flicker at this point and by the time I’m at the top I’m completely alone. There’s a nice flat stretch on 10th, E Ave and 9th , the entirety of which I use to stop sucking wind like a rabid polar bear in heat. The 2 mile slog up from the Vista has blown up my pace to 6:40 and  6:56 for miles 5 and 6.

The turn on to Knox Abbott is like heaven. A whole mile of downhill opens up and my lungs finally recover from their beatdown. I start getting grandiose and thinking about crushing the last 5k to get near an hour.  I can actually see blue girl and another guy up ahead now,  but it feels like I’m getting a police escorted training run, since they are letting cars go ahead and behind me. Mile 7 in 6:29. I start getting mentally prepared for climbing the Blossom Street hill. But as I cross the flat bridge, I realize I forgot about the damn overpass. Yes, again Ken Lowden has forsaken me. The overpass over the railroad on Blossom is the first nasty hill of the Ray Tanner 12k and it kills me every time. Today is no different. All the euphoria of Knox Abbott is blasted out of my lungs, and my legs are also beginning to complain about the abuse.

With the overpass punch to the gut still leaving me reeling, I get maybe a quarter mile of flat before Mount Blossom starts. Oh and it sucks. The part before Assembly is rough, but the area between Assembly and Main make me want to cry for my mommy. In the middle of my Price is Right hillclimber slog, a car full of sorority girls mockingly scream at me. I give them a full Ric Flair style “Woooo” before nearly collapsing into a walk. Whats worse is the turn on Main leaves a little more meat on the Blossom st bone, an agonizing additional incline that makes me want to crawl into the fetal position.  Finally I make it to the back of the State house and its flat again. I’m trying to mount a kick but I am pretty much toast. I dont even look at the mile 9 split (6:57) but once I hear it I empty whatever I have left in the tank. I start hitting the back of the pack 5kers at this point but luckily they’re pretty sparse (this is like 40+ minutes after their start). I’ve actually closed on blue girl and the other guy but I’m too far behind to catch them. On the last straight I make out the clock around 1:01:30 and sprint it out to get under 1:02. 1:01:51 officially. 19th overall and agonizingly 4th in age group.  Yes, the dude who covets his trophies most is the first person left out. I would have won the 40-44 if I was one month older, and would have placed in any of the other age groups. You 35-39 guys are killing me.

In the overall 15k, Michael Banks just missed resetting the state record set last year by Kimutai Cheruiyot, taking the race in 45:49. Unlike last year, where Cheruiyot was seven minutes ahead of the field, Banks had company with Chapel Hill’s Hillary Too. Too finished just 6 seconds behind in 45:56. Both around 4:55 minute pace – incredible. Oh, and Too is 35, so I cleared one measly Tour de Columbia point. 40 cant come soon enough. You can tell I’m not bitter though. Brett Morley finished 3rd in 49:31. C’mon Brett, 5:19 pace? So weak.

In the women’s race Zipporah Chebet (53:55) won by a minute over EA’s Alyssa Bloomquist (54:57), with SR’s Kenzie Riddle (57:56) placing third. All smokin’ fast as well.

In masters, Ashton claimed first and 4th overall. You know you’ve got an absolute beast of a field when Eric doesnt get top 3. Linn Hall claimed female masters.

Age group honor roll: Brittany Robbins took 3rd in the 15-19, while TUS also scored in the 25-29 with 2nd place Daniel Patrick. Jennnifer Lybrand finished 2nd in the 25-29. Justin Bishop had to resort to a rare age group, winning the 30-34 with Jonathan Kinsey 2nd. Kristin Cattieu and Jamey Wilson went 1-2 in the women’s 30-34. Erin Miller won the 35-39 with “the blue girl” Heather Brumbach placing 2nd. I would have recognized Heather but she so rudely never let me catch her. Lee Moore decided to go ahead and turn 35 and win my age group, with Michael Nance a second behind. Third place went to Toby Selix, who was about 45 seconds in front of me. Doh! Some familiar names in the 40-44 with Colleen Vowles, Jennifer Conrick and Julia Early taking the women’s division, and Scott Flicker , Jeff Godby and Whitney Keen in the men. Winston Holliday, Jeff Burgess and Paul Drohomirecky won the 45-49. Jenn Covington doesnt race much but apparently has gotten blazing fast of late, taking down the speedy Dawndy Plank in the 45-49 women. Larry Jourdain and Howie Phan went 1-2 in the 50-54. Chantal Faure and Coleen Strasburger won the 50-54 women. Beasts Geary McAlister, Larry Bates and the OG swept the 55-59. Lorikay Keinzle, Alsena Edwards and Donna Freeman clamed an also very competitive 55-59 women. Mike Compton, Jack Kuenzie and Harry Strick swept the 60-64 men.  Mary Howk continues to amaze with a 1:13 in the 60-64 women that would have also beat all the guys. Her 85 percent age grade would place her 5th overall among all men and women in this race. Lynn Grimes took 3rd. Shawn Chillag and Ken Lowden went 1-2 in the 65-69, while Brigitte Smith took 2nd among the women.

Let’s not forget all the trophy hunters in the undercard 5k.  FYI, though the 15k has its mountains, the 5k is a blazing flat and fast course. Jud Brooker took the overall win with Plexico second. 15 year old Johnny Clemens placed third. EA’s Heather Costello took the women’s  win in 18:58 followed by SR’s MC Cox and Theresa Penney. Sadly I missed the epic battle of masters beasts with Jeff Brandenburg just edging Mark Bedenbaugh 18:51 to 18:55 to place 4th and 5th overall. Birgit Spann won female masters.

Age groups: Madelyn Gomez is apparently as talented as her dad, blazing to a 29:06 at age 9 and taking the 2-10 division. Ashley Horton took 2nd in the 25-29. The 35-39 was no joke in the 5k either, with Luke Godwin blazing a 19:02 and Will Brumbach 2nd in 19:21. Lucia Velicu placed third among the 35-39 women. Meme Spurgeon took a break from receiving CRC and Palmetto grand Prix accolades this week and easily won the 40-44.  Barbara Brandenburg won the 45-49. Gregory Jones smoked a 19:18 and crushed the 55-59, with John Gasque 2nd. Melinda Petruzzi has adopted a Blue Shoes style racing schedule and won the women’s 55-59. Pete Poore took the 60-64 with Sharon Sherbourne taking 2nd among the women. Albert Anderson and Ron Hagell wwent 1-2 in the 65-69. Patti Lowden won the women’s 65-69. Arnold Floyd and Rocky Soderberg went 1-2 in the 70-74, with Henry Holy taking the 75+.

http://www.strictlyrunning.com/RESULTS/15LONGRUN.TXT

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/692258704